Jason Varitek is the former captain of the Red Sox and spent his entire 15-year career in the center of the rivalry. This epic brawl comes from the 2004 season and it memorable for several reasons. The Red Sox were months away from winning their first World Series in 86 years and they were facing their heated rival, the Yankees. That right there are all the ingredients you need for a combustible situation.
This wasn’t the first brawl between these two and it sure as hell wouldn’t be the last but this one felt different. This felt almost like a momentum shift between the two. For so many years the Red Sox felt like the little brother to the Yankees.
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This was like the little brother finally having enough and popping big bro right in the mouth. Varitek makes this list for his heart and love of his team. He didn’t hesitate to jump into the action and protect his pitcher and teammates.
During the game, Alex Rodriguez got hit by Bronson Arroyo. Let the fireworks begin! A-Rod started jawing at Arroyo and made moves towards the mound. Varitek got between his pitcher and Rodriguez, things escalated and Varitek would crack A-Rod in the face with his glove.
Benches emptied and one of the best brawls I’ve seen began. Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira would come out of the fray with some blood. The sides finally parted and Varitek etched another spot for himself in Red Sox lore.
I have a picture of Varitek clocking A-Rod framed on my office wall. It’s so beautiful.